Do You Need to Tip a Newborn Photographer?

Sep 14, 2022

Is tipping your photographer necessary?

Well I am not going to lie, this is a super uncomfortable questions for me to answer.  Your beautiful newborn photography session is over, you’ve selected your favorite images to have printed, and it’s time to check out and say goodbye.  Do you need to tip a newborn photographer?  Let’s discuss!

Tipping your photographer is such a tricky subject.  Photography is considered a professional service, but there are so many rules and etiquette standards, it’s often hard to figure out which service providers should be tipped as a standard practice, and those that don’t require tips.

Before I go any further, let me say that tipping your newborn photographer is not necessary or required.

With that said, let’s discuss why this is still an uncomfortable and confusing conversation.

Do you need to tip a newborn photographer

Why is tipping your newborn photographer NOT necessary?

Most newborn photographers are entrepreneurs, self-employed and running their own business.  If you follow rules of tipping etiquette, you may have learned the old school tradition that the owner of the company or business does not require tips, but rather his or her employees.  AARP has explained that this is indeed an outdated tradition and that owners can indeed be tipped!  

Here is the tricky part – photographers that own and run their own businesses are often the jack of all trades. Photography business owners are their own marketing managers, accountants, human resources department, inventory proprietors, photographers, editors, and the list goes on.  Most photographers ARE their own employees.  In my case, I literally am my own and only employee, as my business is an LLC.  So even though photographers own their own businesses, they can also be considered as their own employees.  Are you confused yet?  Yep, it’s one of those situations where tipping is at your own discretion and never expected from your photographer for this reason.

thank you gift for photographers

How Much Should I Tip my Newborn Photographer?

Have you decided that you’d like to tip your newborn photographer anyway?  Sweet!  Remember that a tip is never expected by your newborn photographer but we all do a happy dance and are super appreciative of a surprise tip.  So the question is, how much?  Well, if you consider professional services are tipped between 15% to 20%, things can add up quickly.  A 20% tip on a $2,000 newborn photography session and professional prints is quite a chunk of change.  If you feel that your photographer should be tipped for the total amount, that’s great, but I may suggest tipping what you are comfortable with.  Again, newborn photographers never expect tips and we are always grateful for anything we receive as a tip.  Even a $10 tip is a kind gesture to show your appreciation to you photographer.  You should never feel pressured to tip any set amount, or anything at all.

how much is newborn photography

Will I Get Better Service if I Give my Photographer a Gratuity?

Ok, so the old joke that you’ll get spit in your soup if you don’t tip absolutely does not apply here!  First off, spitting is soup is illegal, and gross.  Second, your newborn photographer should and will provide you with the highest level of service, no matter if there is a tip or not.  Your photographer is in business because they professionally handle their clients with the upmost care.  I find that newborn photographers are especially dedicated to providing the best experience for their clients, filled with snuggles and cuddles.  Tipping your newborn photographer won’t make them prioritize your session over other clients, because your newborn photography session should already be their priority, and all clients should be treated with the best service, in fairness to all clients.

is a tip required for photographer

What Are Alternatives to Tipping my Photographer?

Chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies.  Ok, that was super specific, and not, I don’t expect cookies as a thank you, but this is a wonderful option to show your gratitude towards a job well done from your newborn photographer.  Do you need to tip a newborn photographer in the form of cash only?  Absolutely not!  There are so many things you can do or gift to give as a tip!

Google Review!

My favorite ‘tip’ is a five star review on Google and/or Yelp.  Remember that your photographer is most likely self employed, trying at all times to keep their ship afloat.  A beautiful and genuine review on Google or Yelp is so incredibly helpful for not only your photographer, but also other fellow expectant/new parent looking for the perfect newborn photography service.

Share and Tag!

Along those lines, another great way to tip your photographer is to sing their praises to all of your friends and family.  Share your images online and tag your newborn photographer.  Word of mouth is powerful and a great, personal recommendation is appreciated so much!

Other sweet gifts

Other awesome ideas to gift your photographer include: fresh baked cookies, a Thank You card, a bottle of wine, a Starbucks latte, a massage or mani/pedi gift certificate, photography related decor for the studio, hand drawn picture from your older children, custom camera strap,  and a new car (just kidding).

Ready to book a session?

Ready to book your San Diego Newborn Photographer?  Fill out the form below and let’s chat! I promise, I don’t expect a tip 🙂


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